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Murdo Macdonald

10 Finding Scottish art MURDO MACDONALD Nationality and art The relationship between nationality and art, or something like it, has been central to the history of art – scholarly or popular – whether in the minimal form of this national school or that national school, or in a more focused way as in ‘the Italian Renaissance’ or ‘French Impressionism’. The art in question is seen as directly related to a national or quasinational set of circumstances, and indeed the art is seen as having some significant link to the nationality of those who carried it out. A

in Across the margins
Crossing the (English) language barrier
Willy Maley

1 ‘Ireland, verses, Scotland: crossing the (English) language barrier’ 1 WILLY MALEY The very problem of the national and the individual in language is basically the problem of the utterance (after all, only here, in the utterance, is the national language embodied in individual form). (Mikhail Bakhtin, cited Wesling 1997: 81) The Irish mix better with the English than the Scotch do because their language is nearer. (Samuel Johnson, cited in Boswell 1906 [1791]: 473) Why Scotland and Ireland? What is marginal, one might ask, about cultures that have produced

in Across the margins
William Welstead

Any discussion of sheep and their representation in contemporary Scottish poetry is overshadowed by the history of the clearance of highlanders from their crofts to make way for the ‘great sheep’. The story of the Highland Clearances is well covered elsewhere, for example by T. M. Devine ( 2018 ), but the cruelty and injustices associated with the movement of peasant farmers from their land is still keenly felt in Highland communities. The highly political play The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil ( 1974 ) uses the Cheviot breed of

in Writing on sheep
Peter Maxwell-Stuart

5 Beyond the witch trials Witchcraft and magic in Scotland Witchcraft and magic in eighteenth-century Scotland Peter Maxwell-Stuart On 20 October 1711 Defoe published in the periodical Review his well-known and unambiguous opinion on the subject of witches: There are, and ever have been such People in the World, who converse Familiarly with the Devil, enter into Compact with him, and receive Power from him, both to hurt and deceive, and these have been in all Ages call’d Witches, and it is these, that our Law and God’s Law Condemn’s as such; and I think there

in Beyond the witch trials
Kate Ash

1 St Margaret and the literary politics of Scottish sainthood Kate Ash Canonised in 1250, Queen Margaret of Scotland is perhaps one of the most familiar Scottish saints to modern readers, yet surprisingly little material relating to her life (beyond brief mentions in chronicles) survives from the Middle Ages. Furthermore, there has been little scholarly consideration of the literariness of ­representations of Margaret. What work has been done focuses on Margaret as a historical figure, or uses material relating to her sanctity as evidence for the existence of

in Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain
Sarah C. E. Ross

Chapter 2 Elizabeth Melville and the religious sonnet sequence in Scotland and England Sarah C. E. Ross T he lyrics in manuscript that Jamie Reid-Baxter has attributed to Elizabeth Melville, the Scottish religious poet and author of Ane Godlie Dreame (1603), include three sequences of religious sonnets, a poetic genre around which there clusters a language of ‘firsts’ in literary-critical discussion of the period. Anne Lock’s A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner (1560), a sequence of religious sonnets that paraphrase and expand on Psalm 51, has received extensive

in Early modern women and the poem
Emily Wingfield

’s family briefly came under the duke’s protection. However, they became involved in resisting the Norman invaders and in 1068 Margaret was forced to seek ‘shelter’ in Scotland along with her mother and siblings. She subsequently married the Scottish king Malcolm III in 1069 or 1070, died at Edinburgh Castle on 16 November 1093, and was buried before the high altar in Dunfermline Priory Church. She was canonised in 1249–50. 2 Relatively few accounts of Margaret’s life survive, 3 but those that do emphasise her literacy and learning to a

in Aspects of knowledge
Author: Caitlin Flynn

This book introduces a new critical framework for reading medieval texts. The narrative grotesque decentres critical discourse by turning focus to points at which literary texts distort and rupture conventional narratological and poetic boundaries. These boundary-warping grotesques are crystallised at moments affective horror and humour. Two seminal Older Scots works are used to exemplify the multivalent applications of the narrative grotesque: Gavin Douglas’s The Palyce of Honour (c. 1501) and William Dunbar’s The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo (c. 1507). These texts create manifold textual hybridisations, transfigurations, and ruptures in order to interrogate modes of discourse, narratological subjectivities, and medieval genre conventions. Within the liminal space opened up by these textual (de)constructions, it is possible to reconceptualise the ways in which poets engaged with concepts of authenticity, veracity, subjectivity, and eloquence in literary writing during the late medieval period.

Editor: Susan Wiseman

In examining early modern women and the poem, this book explores how women use poetry, and how poems use women, in England and Scotland in the period 1550–1680. Several decades of critical writing on 'women's poetry', 'gender and poetry', and the representation of women, or gender, in poetry have produced a rich and complex critical and scholarly field. The book looks at the primary and secondary evidence concerning two key elements in the analysis of early modern women's writing, namely, women and the poem. It first explores the way women understood the poem in terms of the reception, influence and adaptation of past models and examples, working from the reception of classical texts. It focuses on the resources women writing poetry knew and encountered in chapters on classical inheritance, the religious sonnet sequence and the secular sonnet sequence. The book then examines the world of reading and readers, and looks at poems in terms of friendships, quarrels, competitions, coteries, networks and critical reception, both then and later. It also emphasises the tales that poems tell, and how those stories both register and shape the understanding of women and the poem in the world of potential readers. In examining women and the poem, the use of women as signifiers and bearers of meaning in poetry is as significant as women's literary production.

Abstract only
Author: Simon Kővesi

James Kelman is Scotland's most influential contemporary prose artist. This is a book-length study of his groundbreaking novels, analysing and contextualising each in detail. It argues that while Kelman offers a coherent and consistent vision of the world, each novel should be read as a distinct literary response to particular aspects of contemporary working-class language and culture. Historicised through diverse contexts such as Scottish socialism, public transport, emigration, ‘Booker Prize’ culture and Glasgow's controversial ‘City of Culture’ status in 1990, the book offers readings of Kelman's style, characterisation and linguistic innovations. This study resists the prevalent condemnations of Kelman as a miserable realist, and produces evidence that he is acutely aware of an unorthodox, politicised literary tradition which transgresses definitions of what literature can or should do. Kelman is cautious about the power relationship between the working-class worlds he represents in his fiction, and the latent preconceptions embedded in the language of academic and critical commentary. In response, the study is self-critical, questioning the validity and values of its own methods. Kelman is shown to be deftly humorous, assiduously ethical, philosophically alert and politically necessary.